Elhaida Dani was the favourite to win the 53rd Festivali i Këngës, the national final selecting their entry for Eurovision Song Contest 2015 in Vienna, Austria. She was performing last in the show, but the jury awarded her with a first place, and a ticket to Vienna. You can watch the performace of the 17 other contestants here.
Elhaida Dani is 21 years old, comming from the northern part of Albania. She won the talent-show "Star Akademi" in 2009, and "Top Fest" in 2012. She has been singing since she was a little girl, and started playing the piano when she was six. She has been studying Musicology at the "University of Arts" in Tirana.
- Besjana Mehmeti & Shkodran Tolaj - "Kështjella"
- Bojken Lako Band - "Të ndjej"
- Emi Bogdo - "Një femër"
- Lindita Halimi - "S'të fal"
- Mjellma Berisha - "Sot jetoj"
- Enver Petrovci - "Të vranë bukuri"
- Erga Halilaj - "Ti s'më njeh"
- Rezarta Smaja - "Më rrëmbe"
- Jozefina Simoni - "Mendje trazi"
- Venera Lumani - "Dua të jetoj"
- Altin Goci - "Rock për gjithë jetën"
- Gjergj Leka - "Himn"
- Klajdi Musabelliu - "Vetëm te ti besoj"
- Saimir Braho - "Kristal"
- Estela Brahimllari - "Kjo natë"
- Mersela Çibukaj - "S'muj"
- Agim Poshka - "Në rrugën tonë"
- Elhaida Dani - "Të kërkoj"
Since its debut in 2004, Albania has been participating in Eurovision Song Contest every year. Best result is a 5th place in 2012. Out of the 11 times Albania has participated, it has qualified for the final 6 times.
Festivali i Këngës
Festivali i Këngës is organized by the Albanian national broadcaster Radio Televizioni Shqiptar (RTSH). Since its start in 1966, all artists have been asked to perform live, with a jury selecting the winner. Since 2003 the winner of the festival is Albania's representative to Eurovision Song Contest.
The competition has changed a lot since its beginning in 1966, where it was mostly quiet neutral songs, and later became a tool for propaganda by the Communist Party of Albania. In 1972 the Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha murdered the organizers of Festivali in Këngës #11 after they were declared "enemies of the public".
After the fall of communism in Albania in 1991, the competition was again without censorship from the communist regime.
When Albania in 2004 finally applied EBU to participate in Eurovision Song Contest, they agree to let the winner of the country's most popular festival represent Albania.